The Firesticks program has been building momentum and ranger groups that have completed their Bush FireFighting (BFF) training have now gone onto implementing prescribed burns on their own properties. Many of the Firesticks Partner properties are considerably under resourced and do not have funding to cover essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be able to implement burns safely. With this in mind PPE was donated as a part of the Bushfire Resilience Project for Aboriginal Communities (BRAC) program, run by the RFS in cooperation with Aboriginal communities, Fire and Rescue NSW and Bush Fire Management Committees. The BRACs program has previously delivered BFF training to 35 Aboriginal rangers in 2014. The PPE supplied allows rangers to conduct cultural, ecological and hazard reduction burns on their properties safely, which in turn helps to develop skills and confidence in managing and fire in the landscape.
The equipment and training allows the rangers to be a part of the Community Fire Units (CFU). CFU are teams of volunteers who are trained as initial responders to bushfires. For this reason the jackets and pants supplied to the rangers are blue in colour, to easily identify them from the fire brigade’s yellow clothing.
A Community Fire Unit Trailer (CFU) was presented to the Banbai Nation for use on their properties including Wattleridge Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) and Tarriwa Kurrukun IPA. The CFU has fire-fighting equipment with specific tools for the CFU team to use. Some of the equipment on the trailer includes hoses and hydrants, bush clearing tools, protecting clothing and communications devices. This trailer and PPE is much appreciated and will be well used over the coming months, as we prepare and implement more burns on partner properties over the cooler months.